After a weekend of rain I had to come up with new ideas about rainy day activities for children under 5, easier said than done especially with a bored cat that decided to investigate everything we were doing and entertained himself by pushing paint pots off the kitchen table!
Once the children were dressed and had smeared jam over the table and poured rice crispies over the floor we were ready to start with our activities for the day! I liberally covered the table in newspapers and put the fantastic long sleeved messy aprons from Funky Giraffe on the children and then got out the finger paint! Finger painting is brilliant with little ones as they love squeezing the paint between their fingers and experimenting with the colours they can make, it mostly turns out brown!
We use homemade finger paint using this recipe
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups coldwater
2 cups hotwater
Method: Mix the flour and salt. Add the cold water. Beat until smooth. Gradually add the hot water and boil until clear. Beat until smooth. Divide the mixture and add the food colouring of your choice.
Finger painting really allows your child to fully exercise their fantastic imaginations as the sky is the limit. Finger tips can be leaves on trees, bodies of animals or the heads of stick men! Most children also find finger painting to be very soothing which is fantastic if they have to be cooped up all day because of the rain. Finger painting activities allow the young child to work with the medium, moving it around, blending it and creating anything from an abstract expression to a family portrait to explore his own creativity. Watch out though as little ones rarely remember their hands are covered in paint when they want cuddles or stroke pets!
Finger painting has also shown to improve fine motor skills and helps with hand eye coordination. Finger painting strengthens hand muscles and you can even use it to teach basic math concepts, shapes and letters. The interactive process of finger painting is an important way that little ones can learn new words such as colour vocabulary or sensory words like slimy, squishy or sticky. Your children wont notice that they are learning while they are having fun!
Dont mind too much about the mess, the fun you and your children will have is definitely worth it!